Aish Los Angeles Gala Dinner; Sending more Moms and dads to Israel

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The Annual Aish Los Angeles Gala, with an oversell crowd of 950 attendees, took place on Wednesday evening, May 21, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The multigenerational crowd included 300 singles under the age of 35 representing the Young Professional programs MyAish, Aish Ignite and NextGen headed byRabbis Yitz Jacobs, Mordechai Teller and Yehuda Levin.

Hollywood Producer and Writer Saul Blinkoff MC’ed the evening which focused on Aish’s mission to connect Jews to Judaism and each other. Blinkoff’s opening rendition of Mr Rogers’ “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” created a warm and inclusive energy which was a theme of the evening. He continued by reading a children’s story book on unity that Aish had created specifically for the evening.

Rabbi Aryeh Markman , Executive Director of Aish LA, spoke about the Aish Hasbara Fellowships program, funded by the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation, which is under attack on the UCLA campus. Hasbara works to educate and empower college students to engage in Israel advocacy on university and college grounds across the country. Markman thanked Aish International President Dick and Beverly Horowitz for their ongoing leadership, support and vision.

Chana Heller and Sharon Shenker, Directors of the Jewish Women’s Initiative ( JWI) presented the Leadership Award to Sheri Levy and Phyllis Shinbane for the award-winning cook book, “Try It, You’ll Like It”, which they created along with other JWI women. This mouth watering cookbook has raised $25,000 to date and funds a scholarship program which has sent 150 Moms to Israel on a subsidized birthright-style trip. You can read more at http://www.jwrp.org. The next group is made up of 48 Moms and leaves for Israel on October 27. The Jewish Men’s Initiative will be taking an equal number of Dads on November 9. The JWI and JMI are inspiring and educating hundreds of parents to bring Jewish values back into our homes and to connect our children to Judaism.

The evening’s Honorees, Jack and Linda Nourafshan, Kambiz and Lily Babaoff, and Roy and Nahal Rayn, recently launched the newest date-to marry singles program. “Soul Search” not only provides a way to meet other singles but has an educational component designed to help singles date smart, choose wisely and create healthy marriages.

The evening concluded with keynote speaker Charlie Harary, CEO of H3 & Company, whose riveting multi-media musical message reminded us to channel our drive for greatness as we unify the Jewish People. The program was created by Sarah Weintraub of Sarah Weintraub Productions, Saul Blinkoff and Aish COO, Rabbi Azriel Aharon,Tali Merewitz of Events Enchanted and Sanaz Sazegar, Aish Executive Coordinator, organized the seating and Banquet administration.

For more info or to receive video clips from the Gala contact Aryeh Markman 310-278-8672 Ext 601 amarkman@aishla.com